The Kansas City Star and Rotoworld are reporting that the Kansas City Royals and the Indians are considering a deal that would bring Mark Teahen to Cleveland in exchange for either Franklin Gutierrez, Ben Francisco or Trevor Crowe.
Teahen, 27, appeared in 149 games for the Royals last year, hitting .255 (career .286)with 15 HR and 59 RBIs. Though Teahen played mostly outfield last year, the Indians would move Teahen to third base, his natural position, keeping Jhonny Peralta at shortstop and Asdrubal Cabrera at second. (Edit: Teahen appears to want to play third, stating in an online chat last year " I have to say I've gotten used to playing right field but third base holds a special place in my heart. Honestly, I'll play wherever the team needs me." - from the MLB.)
Last season, Francisco, 27, batted .266 with 15 homers and 54 RBIs in 121 games and Gutierrez, 25, batted .248 last season with eight homers and 41 at-bats in 134 games. Crowe, 24 in November, hit .302 last season while splitting 84 games at Class AA Akron and Class AAA Buffalo. He also had nine homers and 41 RBIs.
The Indians have a surplus of outfielders, with Grady Sizemore, Shin-Soo Choo and David Dellucci on the roster for next season, not to mention Michael Brantley and Matt LaPorta waiting in the wings. Moving a complementary player like Gutierrez, who appears to be nothing more than 4th outfielder makes sense to fill a hole. Francisco showed promise upon being called up but faded as the season wore on. Crowe and Brantley project as similiar players, with Brantley showing a greater upside.
Teahen made $2.3375 million last year and in his second year of being arbitration eligible. According to the Kansas City Star, he would be expected to make around $3 million next year. Acquiring a player like Teahen is not a sexy move, but in terms of filling holes - if the Tribe determines that he is the best option available for the infield need of either a 2nd or 3rd baseman then it seems like a no-brainer, trading from strength and filling a weakness. Teahen is an obvious upgrade over Andy Marte - but then again who wouldn't be.